Pennsylvania fines operator of coal-fired Northampton power plant

Northampton Generating Co. LP, the operator of a coal-fired power plant, will pay a $119,354 fine as part of a consent assessment of civil penalty, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection said June 11.

The agreement resolves air emissions violations from late 2009 through the first half of 2012. The $119,354 penalty will be paid to the state’s Clean Air Fund.

“The company is now in compliance,” said DEP Northeast Regional Director Mike Bedrin. “We set a high but fair bar for environmental compliance, which is how Pennsylvania has achieved significant improvements in air quality across the state in recent years.”

Northampton Generating, based in Northampton Borough, produces electricity using different types of fuel, including coal, ash, coke, and a fuel derived from tires. As part of its operating permit, the facility’s boiler is equipped with several continuous emission monitoring systems that provide data on carbon monoxide, sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, and opacity. The company must regularly report the emissions data, which DEP reviews for compliance.

The DEP said that it confirmed in its review of the emissions data that the company submitted invalid data on a daily basis from April 1 to June 20, 2012. DEP also found the company had failed to meet emissions limits for carbon monoxide and SO2 five times between the last quarter of 2009 and the second quarter of 2012.

Northampton Generating has paid two other civil penalties for air quality violations in the last five years, totaling $1,900. Those violations were related to boiler emissions and late filing of reports, the DEP noted.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.